Detectives' K-9 search report


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| Investigative Action | Action Description | Initial Findings |


Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department
711 Jackson Avenue E
Oxford, MS 38655

Date Reported:
 Time Reported:
  7:20 PM
 Reporting Officer:
  Det. Sam Murphy
 Unit Number:
 Assisting Officer:
  Det. Ted Armstrong
 Unit Number:


  K-9 search of Eastgate Shopping Center
  10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
 1917 University Avenue, Oxford, MS
 Clear, 28° F / -2° C at 10:00 AM, 37° F / 3° C at 5:30 PM


 ACTION DESCRIPTION (Brief narrative of the investigative action taken.)

Reporting Investigators (R/Is) contacted the Mississippi Crime Lab and requested a forensic K-9 unit to conduct a systematic grid search of the Eastgate Shopping Center grounds for possible forensic evidence recovery in the missing persons case of Cameron Maxwell and Caitlin Maxwell, who were last seen at that location on January 3, 2014. The first available date for the K-9 unit was January 8, 2014.

R/Is and other YCSD personnel conducted a visual search of the area was on January 6 with no significant findings.

In the period from January 3, 2014 through January 8, 2014, the weather station at the University of Mississippi reports a total of .13 inches of rain for Oxford. It is unknown whether any forensic evidence was lost as a result, but K-9 unit team leader, William Carter indicated that there have been cases of finding residual scent months after a crime has occurred.

R/Is arrived on the scene at 10:00 a.m. and were met by William Carter and James Olton of the Forensic K-9 Unit as well as Forensics Officer T. R. Douglas. William Carter served as scene coordinator and team leader. See attached K-9 Unit Report.

An area measuring 352 yards by 352 yards was mapped out and divided into a grid of 16 squares to be searched. The boundaries being University Avenue to the north, the chain link fence along the access road to Highway 7 to the east, McLarty Road to the west and 352 yards from University Avenue to the south. See attached area map.

In addition to a forensic scent search for blood and residual human scent, scent samples were provided for Cameron Maxwell, Caitlin Maxwell and Austin Maxwell. The K-9 Unit Report (attached) provides a description of the search methods.


 INITIAL FINDINGS (Preliminary results of the investigative action)

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Strong blood evidence was found in and around the area located behind the Dixie Creek BBQ. A large number of crates and pallets are stacked in the area. Measurements were made from the northeast and southeast corners of the east face of the shopping center building. The location of the strongest blood evidence was found 134 yards from the northeast corner, 46.4 yards from the southeast corner.

Officer Douglas processed the scene and found that several crates had been moved and stacked on top of a pallet and crate stained with what appeared to be a large quantity of dried blood. This finding is consistent with the alerts from the K-9 unit on blood scent, which are noted on the attached scene map as Alerts 1 and 2. Officer Douglas took the crate and pallet into evidence along with soil samples collected under and around the pallet and crate.

Dixie Creek BBQ employees indicated that no one from that establishment had moved or stacked additional crates in that area since on or about December 30, 2013, following a large delivery. Crates to the southwest corner of the storage area were stacked following a December 27, 2013, delivery.

A canvass of the businesses in the shopping center indicates that none of the businesses use either those crates or that storage/stacking area. No witnesses were identified who saw anyone in the area of the crates during the period of January 3 - 8, 2014. According to employees in the area, the location is out of the way of deliveries and is not frequented by anyone other than Dixie Creek BBQ employees when stacking crates and pallets from deliveries.

The K-9 unit uncovered additional scent evidence at location Alert 3 on the attached scene map. The Alert 3 flag is 50.8 yards from the southeast corner of the building and 55.8 yards from the location of Alert flags 1 and 2. The K-9 alerts for location 3 were faint, indicating trace evidence of both blood and residual scent that appeared positive for matches with Cameron Maxwell and Caitlin Maxwell. See K-9 report.

No other evidence was located within the grid. The search was completed and all officers left the scene at 5:30 p.m. All evidence remanded into the custody of Officer Douglas for transport to the State Crime Lab for routine analysis.


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